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Sylvia Davey

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Sylvia Davey BA hons.

I am a visual artist with a wide and varied background in craft and fine art. My late father was an artist himself, and one of Scotland’s leading early studio craft potters. I worked with him from a young age, and he trained me to join his team of production throwers of high quality domestic stoneware in his thriving studio workshop. I grew up around Galloway’s high forest and rugged coastline and, alongside my artistic career, I worked for some years in the horticulture industry. I am deeply committed to environmental issues and commonly take organic forms as a starting point and reference for the images in my art-work. I moved to the Scottish Borders after studying fine art sculpture and printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, from which I graduated BA Hons in 1992.

My current art practice is focussed on charcoal drawings and one-off collagraph prints. These are abstract and expressive, and organic in origin. The sculptural aspects of pottery remain visible even in my work on paper, in particular the deeply textured and layered effects achievable with my collagraph techniques, which owe much to a life-long love for the tactile properties inherent in clay. I retain a deep respect for the value of craftsmanship and a passionate attention to detail. Recognition of the power and impact of multiple simple elemental ‘primary’ forms – which has been a common theme throughout my career both in my sculptural pieces and my 2D work – also has its roots in my history as a production potter.
I find it more interesting to explore an idea over a series of themed images, than to produce ‘editions’; near exact copies of a print. I enjoy the challenge of developing an image over ten or twelve closely related but unique and individual pieces. This allows me to take a more experimental approach, an element of risk-taking, which draws me forward as an artist, maintains my interest, and keeps the work fresh, expressive and exciting.

My work is held in many private collections throughout Scotland, including that of Douglas Hall, first keeper of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. My 2D work has also been purchased for the collection of the well-known Scottish Charity ‘Art in Healthcare’ who supply artworks for the walls of Hospitals and healthcare situations.
I have held solo exhibitions throughout the south of Scotland, and participated in group shows in the UK and abroad, including being selected for specialist printmakers shows.